Amid Rising Concerns Over the Country’s Economy
Iran's parliament, Majlis, today abandoned its planned impeachment of a member of Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet amid rising concerns over the economic situation in the country. Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani stopped the debate on impeaching the Sports and Youth Minister Mohammad Abbasi, saying “because of the economic situation,” lawmakers thought that fixing the economy had priority over politics.
“Parliament made a right decision. Regarding the current economic situation, the parliament prefers dealing with economy,” larijani said.
“The economy is not in a good situation,” said MP Kamal Alipour, one of the members of Majlis who had signed the impeachment request. “The currency is not in a proper condition,” he added.
“The currency is the main problem,” said another MP, Mohammad Qasim Osmani.
Meanwhile, Tehran chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said that since Wednesday, 30 people have been detained for “disrupting the currency.” On Wednesday, protests over the plummeting rial flared in Tehran after the currency hit a historic low of 35,500 rials to the dollar. The rate was at 20,000 in January of this year, and 10,500 in January 2011.
The arrests announced by the prosecutor’s office are part of an effort by the government to control the currency crisis through the security apparatus. Many Iran observers do not believe that the economic and psychological underpinnings of the rapid drop in the value of the rial could be resolved in the long run by police crackdown and other security measures.